Zero-Party Data

Empowering Personalized Cross-Channel Marketing With Zero-Party Data

August 30, 2023
Brooke Grief

In this guest post from Iterable, learn how to integrate your zero-party data across email, push, SMS, and more for personalized marketing.

Today’s consumers are bombarded with an overwhelming amount of marketing messages across various channels. Amidst this noise, businesses face the pressing challenge of delivering relevant and personalized content that resonates with their target audience. This is where zero-party data comes into play—revolutionizing the way marketers collect and use customer information to fuel personalized cross-channel marketing strategies.

The Importance of Zero-Party Data

Zero-party data refers to the information that customers willingly and proactively share with businesses. Unlike traditional first-party data, which is implicitly collected through customer behavior (for example, a customer’s browsing activity on your website), zero-party data is obtained through explicit interactions like quizzes, surveys, preference centers, and feedback forms. Zero-party data is data you get directly from the customer. 

This data includes valuable insights into customers' preferences, interests, intentions, and purchase motivations, providing you with a deeper understanding of their needs and desires. This data can be used in future marketing communications to create highly personalized messages that resonate with each individual customer. 

Personalization lies at the heart of effective cross-channel marketing. It's the key to cutting through the noise and meaningfully connecting with customers. By crafting highly relevant marketing messages, businesses can enhance engagement, increase conversion rates, and foster customer loyalty.

Integrating Zero-Party Data Across Channels

For a seamless cross-channel marketing experience, it's essential to integrate zero-party data across various touchpoints. In fact, according to Genesys, customers see it as a trade-off—they’re more likely to provide zero-party data when it benefits them. For example, “Gen Z says they value greater convenience in using services (20%) and more responsive customer service and support (18%) in exchange for sharing their personal data with a company.”

But there’s a way to incorporate zero-party data in your various marketing channels to deliver the best cross-channel customer experience. Let’s dive in.

1. Email Marketing

Email remains a powerful marketing channel, and zero-party data only enhances its effectiveness. Brands can use previously collected zero-party data to segment email lists based on customers' preferences and interests. Then, marketers can send targeted messages that resonate with recipients. This can include personalized subject lines, product recommendations, and exclusive offers that can all be tailored using zero-party data to improve open rates and click-through rates.

Example of a simple survey inside of an email to help you gain customer insights.
Example of a simple survey inside of an email to help you gain customer insights.

Email can not only include zero-party data, but it can also be used to collect it as well. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. A simple “Do you like the products in this email?” with the option to answer “yes,” “no,” or “neutral” will do. That’s zero-party data. The more you learn from your customers, the more you can tailor their experience.

2. Push Notifications

While brands can’t collect zero-party data directly from push notifications, push notifications are perfect for incorporating your zero-party data. Push notifications are inherently personal—they pop up on a user’s phone, right in their hand. Using customer-specific data in push notifications only furthers the customer connection and, as an added bonus, makes them less likely to turn off notifications.

For example, say you’re a furniture brand and you send a survey about home improvement projects. One user reports working on a new home office. Boom. When desk chairs go on sale, you can send that user a push notification that deep links to the desk chair section of your mobile app. Maybe even add “Hope your home office project is going well!” to the copy. You’re building trust with highly relevant messaging.

3. In-App Messaging

Zero-party data also fits well in In-app messaging. Because in-app messages appear while users browse your mobile app, showing relevant messages while they’re moving through the funnel can point them to a conversion. 

Plus, because they’re actively using your app, in-app messages are also a great way to collect zero-party data. As a customer, think about when apps serve you the “can’t find what you’re looking for?” prompt. When they ask you to input what you want, they’re collecting zero-party data. Later, when they get the product you’re interested in, they can show an in-app message that says “Hey, we have what you wanted!”

4. SMS

SMS is one of the best channels for using and collecting zero-party data from your customers. SMS is inherently a two-way communication channel. Don’t be afraid to do the same thing with your customers. Ask them what they like, what they don’t like, and so on. Using your marketing channels to serve distinct purposes can help the customer understand why they should remain opted in and the value they receive from the messages sent. 

Example of an SMS message asking customers to subscribe based on their interests.
Example of an SMS message asking customers to subscribe based on their interests.

One way to collect zero-party data through SMS is via keywords or numbered lists. Offer a certain number of options to your customers via SMS. Say you’re a shoe company and you want to better understand what the customer is looking for. You could say “respond with ‘SANDAL,’ ‘HEEL,’ or ‘SNEAKER’ to get the latest promotions.” Or, you could offer a list of items “1. Sandal, 2. Heel, 3. Sneaker” and ask your customers to respond with the number that’s most relevant to their needs. This way, these data collection methods can be automated but still highly personalized. 

Building Trust and Transparency

One of the distinguishing features of zero-party data is that it's willingly shared by customers who trust that their data will be used responsibly. To maintain this trust, businesses must prioritize transparency in how they collect, store, and use this data. It’s of the utmost importance that brands offer clear communication about data usage policies and the value customers receive in return fosters a positive relationship and encourages continued sharing of zero-party data.

To learn more about Iterable’s powers cross-channel customer experiences, fueled by zero-party data, schedule a demo today.

About Iterable

Iterable is the AI-powered cross-channel communication platform that helps organizations like Redfin, DoorDash, Calm, and Box to activate customers with joyful interactions at scale. With Iterable, organizations drive high growth with individualized, harmonized and dynamic communications that engage customers throughout the entire lifecycle at the right time.

Brooke Grief
Senior Content Marketing Manager
Brooke Grief is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Iterable. Prior to working at Iterable, Brooke managed content strategy, production, and ideation for a handful of brands, including Aveeno, Planet Fitness, IBM, and GE Healthcare.

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